WHEN TRUE LOVE COMES IN THE FORM OF A FLYING BEER BOTTLE.
When Brandon Greene, an oatmeal-skinned junior from upstate New York, drunkenly hurls a beer bottle at an unsuspecting, brown-skinned Natalie Chandler, both their worlds are changed indefinitely.
Brandon makes his intentions clear from the beginning: he is hopelessly in love with his girlfriend, Sophia, but does not want to marry her. He does, however, want to be friends with Natalie.
Neither Brandon nor her curiosities about him make sense to her at all, and her complacency begins to tumble, as she and Brandon grow closer. She’s thrust into a love triangle that she wants no part of and suddenly, a streamlined future to success in the medical field is the last thing on her mind — all she sees now is a shade of gray. Brandon and Natalie have a powerful dynamic; but can it stand the weight that time, spatial disparity and color have placed on them? When You Come to Me is a sometimes humorous, sometimes dramatic take on the loss of innocence in its most colorful form.
I am exceptionally fond of this story. I’ve written countless pieces, and each have meant something to me. But there will always be something about the characters in this novel that will always touch me.
Brandon and Natalie are quite normal in the grand scheme of things: they’re both young and attractive, they both come from large, tight-knit families, they’re both strong-minded and intelligent.
But what sets them apart?
Of course there’s the obvious: one is white and one is black. One comes from the North and one comes from the South.
But what else?
I’ve read my fair share of love stories and have even experienced love in a realistic form. But the thing that makes Brandon Greene and Natalie Chandler so different is that their dynamic felt real.
The most common feedback I’ve gotten from readers is that Brandon and Natalie, despite their obvious flaws, never lost sight of each other. Their believable, tangible chemistry had everyone rooting for them in the end.
I ultimately wanted their relationship to be successful, but I wanted it to be as realistic as possible.
It was never about the destination per se, but more so about their journey.
Natalie had to grow, had to learn how to love a man, had to adapt to change better. Brandon needed to be more patient and understanding of her needs, Brandon needed to find himself altogether.
In the novel, their love stretches a span of 8 years. And while some have complained that the story was “too long”, I wanted it to be that way. I wanted the readers to become a part of their lives, empathize with them, become them.
With that, I present to you a free, updated version of When You Come to Me.